I N D U S T R Y

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

An industry is a group of companies that are related based on their primary business activities. In modern economies, there are dozens of industry classifications. Industry classifications are typically grouped into larger categories called sectors.


Individual companies are generally classified into an industry based on their largest sources of revenue. For example, while an automobile manufacturer might have a financing division that contributes 10% to the firm's overall revenues, the company would be classified in the automaker industry by most classification systems.


What Is an Industry?

An industry is a group of companies that are related based on their primary business activities. In modern economies, there are dozens of industry classifications. Industry classifications are typically grouped into larger categories called sectors.


Individual companies are generally classified into an industry based on their largest sources of revenue. For example, while an automobile manufacturer might have a financing division that contributes 10% to the firm's overall revenues, the company would be classified in the automaker industry by most classification systems.




Similar businesses are grouped into industries based on the primary product produced or sold. This effectively creates industry groups, which can then be used to isolate businesses from those who participate in different activities. Investors and economists often study industries to better understand the factors and limitations of corporate profit growth. Companies operating in the same industry can also be compared to each other to evaluate the relative attractiveness of a company within that industry.


While both sectors and industries are classification systems used to group similar types of business operations, sectors are broader than industries.

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